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The Rotunda

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 19/10/2015 Joe Bonsall
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THE OAK Ridge Boys and the Country Music HALL of FAME... Induction October 25, 2015

It was announced in the Spring of 2015 that along with Guitar virtuoso Grady Martin and Jim Ed Brown and The Browns that The Oak Ridge Boys would be this years modern era inductees into The Country Music Hall of Fame. I wrote the following words not long after the announcement...
The hallowed Rotunda at The Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville Tennessee is where the plaques of inducted Hall of Famers are mounted in a huge and beautiful circle. "All are equal inside of this circle" is the mantra and it is a sight to behold. The words Will The Circle Be Unbroken are written above the bronzed plaques and the circular ceiling that is bathed in sunlight seems to rise above to the Heavens which is also symbolic for many of our Country Music Heroes who we have loved have moved on beyond this earth and their light does seem to shine down upon the Rotunda.
It is still mind boggling to me that The Oak Ridge Boys will be enshrined here come October.
So early this morning I drove down to The HALL for an interview on WSM. I was scheduled to appear around 9 AM to talk with Bill Cody about our induction.
Well I awakened with the sun and decided to go on downtown early to beat the Nashville rush hour traffic and managed to get to The Hall Of Fame almost 90 minutes before my interview. Security brought me on up to the main floors where all of the exhibits as well as The Rotunda are on display.
It would be an hour before the Hall opened to the public so while I waited for my interview I wandered around the empty Hall of Fame.
Now I have written several editorials and a magazine piece already about the beauty and length and breadth of our new CMHOF and education center so I won't elaborate. Suffice to say that it is a magnificent tribute to America's country legends of today and yesterday and to the music itself. There are ghosts everywhere. I talked to John and June this morning. I chatted with George Jones and Tammy and Conway. I stood before Earl Scruggs Banjo and thanked him for being a banjo hero to me.
I spent time with Miss Minnie and the Tater and thanked Ernest Tubb for the signed picture he gave my father in law once. It just meant the world to him and it now hangs on my wall at home.
After my mystical visiting sessions I entered the Rotunda where our own faces would be immortalized in bronze very soon. I sat down and took it all in. It was just me... all alone...on the floor...sitting in the middle of the circle that would forever be unbroken... I wept like a child.
I could envision our entire career playing out in my minds eye. The songs, the miles, the shows, the ups and downs and I took comfort in the fact that it is all far from over. I could see younger versions of myself and Duane Allen, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban dreaming dreams and reaching for the stars and working hard to make sure we did everything the right way and now I see us HERE! In The Country Music Hall of Fame... The ROTUNDA! The greatest honor in a career of honors is to be up on that wall... in this circle.
I got up, said a prayer of thanks to God and wiped the tears... I will NEVER forget these moments... Not EVER!
Joseph S Bonsall is the author of the book On The Road With The Oak Ridge Boys now available everywhere...

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